Once he was home and found this place
to rest his memory, he saw her where
she sat alone on the park bench
poised as though in flight from something
no one could see, perhaps least of all her.
Her name would be silvery like her hair
between two fingers of a hand
that he thought might become his own.
* * * * *
Once on land, you return to the city,
to all you were missing covered over
with dreams men threw up fast against the sky,
secure if the earth does not break open.
You know nothing of her story, city
behind her eyes, clouds parting to spill rain.
Take her hand. Caress her. Listen. Her lips
form words welling up from her depths.
The sound of your own voice is as nothing
in the cache of a man’s life delivered
from the sea to recover your childhood’s cracked
mirror, to find here what you have become
in your maturity’s true north toward death.
You vow to take her where she wants to go,
learn the name she no longer loves.
A woman now, she tells you what she wants.
* * * * *
He puts his pen down. He looks to see her
take a chair. He studies the way she leans
resting her breasts on the café table,
reading, hands clasped between her legs.
When she looks up he is looking at her.
Where will he go that she will go with him?
Why would she go with him and no other?
The poetry of a fool’s life . . .
(2 April 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander